What do people in panama do for fun?

Panama has numerous attractive beaches, and divers enjoy its coastal waters (especially around the Pearl and Coiba Islands) and the Panama Canal, which contains wreckage of sunken ships and discarded equipment used in the construction of the waterway. The 13 Best Things to Do in Panama With rugged trails and colorful neotropics, Panama's national parks are among the best in the world. Its highlands are full of sprawling coffee plantations, thundering rivers and waterfalls. Its coastline features kaleidoscopic coral reefs and epic waves that have attracted daring wave seekers since the 1970s.

Established in 1673 after pirate Henry Morgan transformed the original settlement of Panama City (now Panama La Vieja) into an ignominious pile of rubble and ash, Casco Viejo, once a defensive outpost, has undergone enormous changes. Don't miss the historic sites: the district's defensive walls have long been dismantled, but its wealth of 16th and 17th century structures remains intact. Among them, the church of San José has a priceless baroque gold altar that miraculously escaped the sacking of Old Panama by Morgan. Located 18 km (11 miles) from Boquete, the springs are rustic and discreet.

The services are basic and you should arrive early to avoid the crowds. During the dry season, you can dig your own pool on the banks of the Chiriqui River. Public transportation to the springs is rare; instead, consider taking a taxi or taking a tour. The city really comes alive during a couple of festivals: the Black Christ Festival and the Festival of Devils and Congos. The Black Christ Festival is held annually in October and pays homage to a 1.5 m tall (5 ft) Black Christ.

The statue parades through the city as pilgrims follow them with crowns made of thorns and purple robes. When the heat and bustle of the capital become unbearable, the city's residents retreat to the resort of El Valle, adorned with flowers. Located in the lush foothills of the province of Coclé, El Valle is only 2.5 hours from the capital, but with a style and atmosphere of another world. Exclusively for experienced surfers, La Punta's breakpoint generates powerful and consistent waves all year round, and reaches colossal heights of up to 9 m (30 ft) from February to August.

The Barú Volcano, which rises from the Talamanca mountains in western Panama, is the only place in the world where you can see the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at the same time, but only if you're very lucky. At 3,474 m (11,398 ft), the windswept summit of Barú is subject to very changeable and, at times, inclement weather conditions. Still, you're guaranteed a decent hike through several areas of vegetation, even if the weather gods they don't smile at you. Wrapped in forests and farmland, the extinct volcano is home to seven craters and 10 rivers, many endemic mammals and abundant avifauna.

All coffee lovers know that the best beans can offer a full-fledged mystical experience. Forget about communion wine, a cup of dark beer is your ticket to heaven. In Chiriqui, coffee production has been the pillar of the local economy since 19th century. Dozens of mist-covered estates dot the fertile hills below the Barú Volcano.

Established in 1922, Finca Lérida is one of the oldest producers in the country, and its extensive property includes hiking trails and secondary forests full of birds. Shimmering schools of multicolored fish line the ocean waters of Coiba Island, a global center of marine life; located 20 km (12 miles) from the Pacific continent of Panama, Coiba is the largest of Panama's many phenomenal islands. The bravest souls and adrenaline fanatics who don't regret it should go to Chiriqui Viejo, a true beast with more than 60 km (37 miles) of Class IV rapids and also some horrible Class V sections. Naturally, all rivers are noticeably wilder in the wet season. Of course, birdwatchers have plenty of options in Panama, and some of the most prolific habitats are the lowland rainforests surrounding the Panama Canal.

You won't see any quetzal there, but the 17-km (10.5-mile) pipeline trail in Soberanía National Park is a truly first-class site. In 1985, birdwatchers recorded a staggering 385 species in just 24 hours. More than 400 islands and islets form the homeland of the indigenous Guna (formerly Kuna), most of them happily uninhabited. The region largely lacks modern infrastructure and is self-governing as a semi-autonomous territory in Panama's remote eastern Caribbean.

You might remember what happened in your high school history class, but the Panama Canal was a huge project; in fact, it started several times before they figured out how to complete it. I probably spent more time researching the best things to do in Panama and the best places to visit in Panama than, well, in Panama. This area used to be very run-down, but now Panama City is investing a lot in it and many of the old buildings have been restored and transformed into boutique hotels, elegant cafés and restaurants and beautiful little shops. I definitely think that sailing on a private catamaran is the best way to see San Blas, so if you're looking for something to splurge on your trip to Panama, this is the place. There's no doubt that it's an ideal place for backpackers, so it's a great place to meet people, but don't worry, the feeling isn't too young.

I felt like I was on a deserted island and, without a doubt, it was the most unique experience I had in Panama. Visiting Coiba is one of the most adventurous things to do in Panama, but if you can't make it, there are several decent dive sites in the province of Bocas del Toro that are well connected by local infrastructure. I mean, there are safe and unsafe areas in any country, but overall I never felt like I had to worry while traveling in Panama. If you want a real Panama hat, you'll have to go to a local market (like the Santa Ana market mentioned above) and look for a straw hat with black stripes.

I think most people who visit Panama go to Panama City, San Blas, Bocas del Toro and even Boquete, but I don't know many people who have ventured to go to the Gulf of Chiriqui. And then, during my last two nights in Panama City, I stayed at Las Clementinas, which has beautiful apartments. I don't usually like walking tours, but Rachel loves them, so she signed us up for PTY Life Panama Detour.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

General tv evangelist. Freelance social media specialist. Hipster-friendly twitter specialist. Beer fanatic. Typical student.